Book Review – Flipping the Switch

I have always tried to follow the example set by my parents in taking responsibility for my actions. This is something that most successful people do as a matter of fact. In 2001, John G. Miller published a book called, “QBQ! The Question Behind the Question,” in which he talks about personal responsibility in work and life. John wrote a follow-up titled, “Flipping the Switch, Unleash the Power Personal Accountability Using the QBQ!,” in 2006.

In QBQ!, John talks about asking the right kind of question to get things done. His premise is that we can only control ourselves and how we respond to problems. Questions like, “Why does this happen to me?” are counter productive. Instead, we should be asking, “What can I do to fix this?”

Flipping the Switch takes asking the right kind of question from the QBQ! and talks about five practices that will lead to a richer life (perhaps both figuratively and literally). The five practices are called the Advantage Principles. They are

  1. LEARNING: Live an engaged and energized life through positive personal growth and change
  2. OWNERSHIP: Attain goals by becoming a solution-oriented person who solves problems
  3. CREATIVITY: Find new ways to achieve by succeeding “within the box”
  4. SERVICE: Do for others what you don’t have to do, and build a legacy by helping people succeed
  5. TRUST: Develop deep and rewarding relationships

John teaches through example and gives examples of using each of the Advantage Principles in Flipping the Switch.

It is not necessary to buy the QBQ! book in order to read Flipping the Switch. John reviews the QBQ! in chapter 2 of Flipping the Switch. The QBQ! book does have many examples of asking the right kind of question, so it is also worth a read, but if I could only afford one book, it would be Flipping the Switch.

I bought both books and read them without stopping. They are both fairly short and take around an hour each to read. So you may want to pick up both.

QBQ!, Inc., has an online presence. They not only have quotes from the book and an online video, but they have a downloadable keynote of John delivering the QBQ! message to a group of sales people. It is an inspiring discussion of how asking the right questions can make your life better and more rewarding. You can also subscribe to an email feed of short stories of personal accountability.

Sometimes when I need a pick-me-up, I will pull the book out and re-read a chapter. It never fails to energize me and flip the switch.

8 thoughts on “Book Review – Flipping the Switch

  1. I’ve never read this book but I’m intrigued by the concept of taking ownership. I think it’s a big part of being successful, in any job or just in life. Thanks for sharing, I’ll check out the book.

    1. Hi Monica, I have found both books, QBQ! and Flipping the Switch to be very enlightening. They are both short reads, and you should be able to find them in your local library.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    1. Hi Charles, I found that I was already following a lot of QBQ when I first read it, but I, like most others, could always use use a refresher. I think that Flipping the Switch was actually more helpful with work.

    1. Hi Done by Forty, You are probably already following a lot of the QBQ at work. Most successful people do. I think that Flipping the Switch is even more helpful with having the right attitude at work.

    1. Hi Shane, the book is definitely available on Amazon. Clicking on the book’s picture in the article, above, will take you to the appropriate Amazon page. You can get it used on the same Amazon page for one penny plus $3.99 shipping. The book is also likely available at your local library for free. I hope you find the book as useful and interesting as I did.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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